Manchester City are planning a warm-weather training camp in Abu Dhabi during the upcoming winter break, manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed.
A trip has not yet been finalised but it is possible as the champions have no fixture on the weekend of January 21-22, their designated free date during the Premier League’s staggered winter pause.
Guardiola took a group of players not involved in the latter stages of the World Cup to the United Arab Emirates, home of owner Sheikh Mansour, last season and wants to do similar with the whole squad.
The City boss feels it will be an ideal way to prepare for the second half of the season as the club look to defend their domestic and European titles.
Guardiola said: “After Newcastle, if it’s possible, we go to Abu Dhabi again, all together.
“Last season we were there in the World Cup and it had an incredible impact for the staff and everyone. The five titles (we won) prove it.
“We go there to train in better weather, to be together – training, training and training to prepare for the second part of the season. That is the plan but maybe we’ll change it, I don’t know yet.”
City will begin the new year with their FA Cup third-round tie against Championship Huddersfield next Sunday.
The game could see the return to action of Kevin De Bruyne after the playmaker, who has not featured since August, was an unused substitute for Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Sheffield United.
Guardiola said: “He is almost close. We asked each other to come to the bench, to start to be in the locker room. It’s been three months, a lot of time he’s been out.
“He’s training good and he’ll start to get minutes to get his best. It’s incredible news.
“We’re also waiting on Jeremy (Doku), Erling (Haaland) and John Stones. The second part of the season is already here and we’ll need everyone.”